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Pig in a poke

Posted by Axemania1 on October 19, 2002

Having read the explanation of this phrase within this site, I thought it fell rather short on the complete etymology of the phrase. Indeed, a poke is/was a small pocket or sack. On a market, a pig would often be purchased, and unless the buyer examined the pig, he would likely find a puppy or cat in the bag, and this would be useless to him if he had purchased it for food. This also gave rise to 'letting the cat out of the bag'.